Ilva steel workers won’t lose jobs in Arcelor Mittal takeover

Genoa (Italy),  No worker at the Ilva steel plant in Genoa in Italy will lose job in the company’s takeover this month by steel giant Arcelor Mittal, Italy’s Industry and Welfare Minister Luigi Di Maio said.

“No one will lose their job and their livelihood under the agreement,” Di Maio told reporters here on Tuesday.

Arcelor Mittal wants to re-hire 1,000 (out of 1,100 workers) who currently staff Ilva’s Cornigliano plant in Genoa, Di Maio said.

“We will begin the voluntary redundancy scheme on November 1. Any worker who does not accept its terms will receive an offer of an open-ended contract from Arcelor Mittal,” he stated.

Under the takeover deal, Arcelor Mittal has agreed to clean-up the polluting Cornigliano site and re-hired workers will have the protection of Article 18 of the landmark 1970 workers charter which guarantees reinstatement in the case of unfair dismissal, Di Maio said.

Labour measures introduced with the 2015 Jobs Act reform of the previous centre-Left government – which made firing easier for employers – would not apply to Ilva workers, Di Maio stated.

Ilva workers on September 13 overwhelmingly backed the accord inked between Archelor Mittal and Ilva a week earlier, finalising a preliminary sale signed by the group last year.

Under the deal, ArcelorMittal agreed to hire 10,700 of ILVA’s nearly 14,000 workers within three months and the rest of the workforce between 2023 and 2025, the company said in a statement.

The firm also promised a 250 million euro fund to offer layoff incentives to workers, according to the Fim-Cisl union.

With a cap imposed to limit harmful emissions from its plants, Ilva’s output has fallen to under five million tonnes a year and the company is losing some 30 million euros a month.

State-appointed commissioners told parliament in August they only had enough government funds to keep the business running until September.

Founded in the early 1990s, Ilva is considered the biggest single steel maker in Europe in terms of output capacity. It currently has four plants across Italy – in Taranto, Genoa, Novi Ligure and Paderno Dugnano.